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Monday's Good News Nuggets

Updated: May 7, 2022

Getting the week off to a bright start with an uplifting bundle of good news nuggets.

Exterior of Windsor Castle as seen from the Long Walk
Spring Forward

Spare a thought for the horological conservator at 900 year old Windsor Castle. When the clocks went forward in the UK in the early hours of Sunday morning, he was busy changing more than 400 clocks in the Royal Collection Trust. Each one must be changed by hand and it takes him about 16 hours to change all the clocks on the Windsor estate, including about 250 in the castle itself, along with seven tower clocks. Oh, the joys of a smartphone!

On Target

Target has turned a California location into its most sustainable store. Solar panels on the roof and carports will power the entire store, from its refrigeration to its heating and air conditioning. It could become a new model for the national retailer, as it sets goals to reduce carbon emissions and works to signal to customers and investors that it's serious about sustainability.

Close up of the head and shoulders of a golden eagle
Golden Eagles

A pioneering project to boost golden eagle populations in southern Scotland has seen numbers rise to record levels, conservationists say. The South of Scotland Golden Eagle Project used a novel conservation method in which juvenile free-flying eagles from Scotland’s Outer Hebrides were caught and translocated to the southern uplands. The move means the total number of golden eagles in southern Scotland is now 33 – the highest figure since the early nineteenth century. The project team is continuing to monitor the birds’ progress to see if they settle and breed in the area. If they do, this could be a breakthrough for the project, and could inform other raptor conservation programmes. The team has had previous success releasing 12 young eagles collected as chicks from nests in the Highlands and Islands.

Red eel with no eyes, curled up on shingle
The Mumbai blind eel discovered at the bottom of a well in a school for blind children. Photograph: Tejas Thackeray/Courtesy of Shoal
New Freshwater Species

A blind eel that was found living in the grounds of a school for blind children is among the ‘new’ species that scientists just announced to the world. Some 212 previously undiscovered freshwater species were unveiled in the New Species 2021 report, released by the conservation organisation Shoal. The Mumbai blind eel was found in a well at a school for blind children in India. Other notable discoveries include a fish with a visible brain and a killer stingray. “New species are pieces of the evolutionary puzzle we did not know existed, and because of that we have no idea what they may have to offer,” said marine biologist Dr Ralf Britz.

Facades of half a dozen Guild Houses in the main square in Brussels
Guild Houses, Grand Place, Brussels, Belgium.
Ditching Cars

The race to drive cars out of cities has stepped up a gear in Brussels, where motorists are being offered €900 ($990) to ditch their motors for greener transport. The Bruxell’air scheme first launched in 2006 in response to poor air quality and maddening levels of congestion in the Belgian capital. Payments were set at €500 ($550), but are now being ramped up to lure more people out of their cars. The scheme is not unique. Coventry in England is giving motorists £3,000 ($4,000) in transport vouchers if they give up their cars as part of a first-in-the-UK pilot scheme.

Brown labrador dog licking its lips
Carbon Paw Print

Around one fifth of the meat produced globally is fed to pets. What if it was grown in labs? In the UK, it soon will be, after a firm was launched to bring lab-grown pet food to market. Good Dog Food is a joint venture between two disruptive food tech companies – Agronomics and Roslin Technologies – which are bent on making the pet food industry more sustainable. Meanwhile in the USA, an estimate from UCLA found that if they were a nation of their own, America’s 163 million dogs and cats would collectively be the world’s fifth-largest meat consumer. And that's just America! The production of feed for US pets alone causes 64 million tons of greenhouse gases annually - as much as 30 million cars and an incredible five percent of all global emissions. For more, see Carbon Paw Print

Quote of the Day

"The goal of adulthood is to let go of the other possible existences and to make the best of the one. A successful adult is one who understands that it doesn't matter which life you ultimately pick, only that you live it well." Chris Ballas

On this Day

28 March 1930: Built as Byzantium about 657 BCE, then renamed Constantinople in the 4th century after Constantine the Great made the city his capital, the Turkish city of Istanbul officially received its present name on this day in 1930.


Dive in Deeper

Monument to Love

We all know what the exterior of the Taj Mahal looks like, but this gorgeous film also takes you inside this remarkable building complex.


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